Philosophical Topics 40 (2):129-154 (2012)

Authors
Mark Phelan
Lawrence University
Wesley Buckwalter
George Mason University
Abstract
We argue that the causal account offered by analytic functionalism provides the best account of the folk psychological theory of mind, and that people ordinarily define mental states relative to the causal roles these states occupy in relation to environmental impingements, external behaviors, and other mental states. We present new empirical evidence, as well as review several key studies on mental state ascription to diverse types of entities such as robots, cyborgs, corporations and God, and explain how this evidence supports a functional account. We also respond to two challenges to this view based on the embodiment hypothesis, or the claim that physical realizers matter over and above functional role, and qualia. In both cases we conclude that research to date best supports a functional account of ordinary mental state concepts.
Keywords functionalism  mental state attribution  embodiment  qualia
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2012
ISBN(s) 0276-2080
DOI 10.5840/philtopics201240217
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,916
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Minds, Brains, and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
An Argument for the Identity Theory.David Lewis - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (1):17-25.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise.Wesley Buckwalter - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):378-410.
The Unique Groundability of Temporal Facts.John Cusbert & Kristie Miller - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):410-432.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Troubles with Functionalism.Ned Block - 1978 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
What is Functionalism?Ned Block - 1996 - In Donald M. Borchert (ed.), [Book Chapter]. MacMillan.
Empirical Functionalism and Conceivability Arguments.H. Jacoby - 1989 - Philosophical Psychology 2 (3):271-82.
Knowledge as a Mental State.Jennifer Nagel - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4:275-310.
Functionalism, Qualia, and the Inverted Spectrum.Terence Horgan - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 44 (June):453-69.
Functionalism and Self-Consciousness.Mark McCullagh - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (5):481-499.
Identifying Mental States: A Celebrated Hypothesis Refuted.Irwin Goldstein - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):46-62.
Functionalism and Qualia.Sydney Shoemaker - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 27 (May):291-315.
What Psychological States Are Not.Ned Block & Jerry A. Fodor - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (April):159-81.
Curse of the Qualia.Stephen L. White - 1986 - Synthese 68 (August):333-68.
Is Role-Functionalism Committed to Epiphenomenalism?Brian P. McLaughlin - 2006 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (1-2):39-66.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-01-08

Total views
195 ( #50,900 of 2,433,175 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #83,624 of 2,433,175 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes